Weather: 27 degrees, cloudy
What I’m listening to: Love Came Down at Christmas, High Street Hymns
Remember when we were kids and the holidays were the longest, most agonizing wait? When the excitement and anticipation of Christmas morning was enough to make you burst? Do you remember when you couldn’t sleep at night wondering what Santa might bring or considering where all the presents might be hidden throughout the house?
Then, we grow up. The holidays fly by like a flash – with school concerts, family photos in coordinating winter outfits, putting up a tree, parties, hanging stockings, addressing Christmas cards, church events, shopping, Christmas music, wrapping presents, holiday coffee beverages in red cups, standing in long lines at the post office to send packages, etc. – and suddenly it’s the New Year and you’re not sure where it all went. Wasn’t it just Halloween? we think. Whatever happened to Thanksgiving? we wonder. Is Christmas already over?
In our house, traditions surrounding faith, family, and food are the means by which we create memories and help the moments linger in our hearts and minds. We deliberately grab hold of Christmas and cling to it, tightly. We don’t want to miss it. We don’t want to let it fly by in a flurry of busyness and stuff.
We place a star carefully and proudly on top of the Christmas tree and we remember that a star was born one night in Bethlehem.
We hang the handmade advent calendar, sip our hot chocolate, and we hear the music playing, “How silently, how silently, the wondrous gift is given.”
We cut and frost the Christmas cookies and consider things like peace on earth and mercy mild and the Reason for it all.
We eat Gingerbread Waffles on Christmas morning and we linger over coffee and flannel pajamas and half-open stockings… and suddenly holiday sentiments like Hope become concrete and tangible, with a smell and a texture and a face. Glory to the newborn King.
And we take that Hope with us into tomorrow, into the new year – because it manifested itself in our lives and in our hearts in those moments that lingered around faith, family, and food.